Such a fun race!!!
It started off a bit hectic, I guess. About 9:30 the night before the race, I realized I hadn't even started thinking about or packing my bag for the next morning! Eek! So I freak out and jump up to go do that, while my wonderful boyfriend gets up to do the dishes for me. Then, I realize I can't find my extra pair of goggles! I took it with me to our river trip last weekend...and I guess they didn't make it home. I looked everywhere they would logically be. Again, that amazing boyfriend of mine "went to search his car"...and 20 minutes later, came back from Walmart with new goggles and three beautiful, white roses! (I made sure not to open the goggles, and since I didn't end up needing them, we took them back to the store.) The rest of the packing/preparing went off without a hitch.
Race morning, we wake up at 5 a.m., I eat and get ready and we head off to the race. The race was about 35 minutes from my house. Transition area closed at 6:30, the race started at 7:30, but I started closer to 8 because it was a pool swim. I didn't love being rushed to get my transition area ready, just to sit around for another hour and a half. I was the 161st swimmer...and it was really hard to wait that long to get in the pool! I was ready to start!
The swim - 500m:
This was my second pool swim, and it was so much better than the last time! The pool was 50m length, so we did five out and backs. The lanes were wide enough for two swimmers and two passers to go by. Plus, we started 10 seconds apart. The extra time and wide lanes made it so much more pleasant. I also made sure I made my time slower since I had such a stressful experience last time. This was a great swim, after the initial 50m of constantly fixing my goggles. I passed three people, and really wanted to pass this guy in the last 50m, but we were close to the exit, which had a narrow turn and I'd decided while watching others attempt it that passing then wasn't too great of an idea.
Since I got to the race sort of late, I didn't have a good place in the transition area. I was in the back, and we came and went each time in the front. Oh well. At least it was easy to find! Transition went fine. I realized the shirt I'd brought to wear wasn't great for trying to slip on a wet bathing suit...and struggled with that. But I finally got off onto the road with a granola bar in hand.
The bike - 14 miles:
As soon as I got clipped in, I opened my granola bar and realized the same shirt that was all wrong in T1, also didn't have pockets for my trash. I didn't want to throw in on the ground, so after holding it for a few miles, I stuffed it into my sports bra strap and went with that. I had been preparing for a 12-mile bike, but found out the week before the race that they'd bumped it up to 14. It didn't seem to make much of a difference. It was a fairly flat race. The hardest part was the wind! I was coming out of the south and was strong! Our bike started out going south for a mile and a half probably. It was two loops, and we actually hit the windy part three times because that's where we started and ended. I will tell you, the wind got worse each time...and it wasn't because I was more tired! The good news is that we also headed north -- with the wind -- and equal distance, and I rocked that part! I'd set a goal to pass three people on the bike, but didn't really get that done. I passed one girl, who was on a mountain bike and had just passed me, but then shortly after, she went passed me again. I couldn't catch up with anyone until toward the end, when I passed another. I kept her behind me for a few miles, but once we hit the windy part, she sped past me. Oh well. Also, toward the end of the first lap, I teared up when I realized I was smiling! (I get pretty emotional during races.) My main goal was to have fun...and I'd already achieved that halfway though the race!
Nothing too terribly exciting. I'd had some practice changing shoes, so I didn't struggle too much or anything. I did, fortunately, remember to remove the trash from my bra...and off I went for the last leg!
The run - 5k:
I felt great coming off the bike. My legs didn't hurt or anything, but I was going slow. I'd practiced running off the bike some previously with the same result. I was slow. Anyway, I got in a rhythm and kept on running. I'd contemplated walking, but decided I would be mad at myself at the end of the thing if I had. I didn't need to and I'm not sure it would have improved my time. During the run, I got a chance to cheer on some of the triathlon virgins I had talked to before the race. It actually helps motivate me when I cheer on others. I finally saw Nick for the first time since the run with less than a mile to go in the race. It was good to see him. As I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, I picked up a bit of speed (probably my normal running pace now), but then I started to kick it. It was one of my best kicks! I felt great, then I realized how fast I was going and it amazed me and just tried to go faster. Very cool little kick and I had a nice high after.
As I said at the beginning. it was a great race. I enjoyed it, pushed a bit, and ended happily. And guess what? I beat my first race...which was two miles shorter in the bike!
Final time: 1:51:28! Woot!
I came in 15/17 in my age group (25-29). I'm actually 24, but according to USAT, I'm 25 because my birthday's in September. Had I been in the 20-24 age group...I would have come in third, which is hilarious!
Anyway, great race! Made my goals, had a great time, and I'm back in love with the sport!
11 months ago